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Customer Diversity

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Currently, I am developing a new Customer Excellence programme and within this I am looking to include a small module on Customer Diversity.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who has any exercises etc for this subject as I am looking to make this subject as interactive as possible for those attending the training.

Thanks in advance

Neil

Neil Wilkins

8 Responses

  1. Customer Diversity
    Surprised that it is a small module. We started from that premise but decided in the light of advice to do a half day course.We brought in an outside trainer and although I cannot reveal,without their permission,their approach, we covered

    Legal issues – jury exercises covering access to goods,facilities and services.Brilliant

    Demographic issues – a quiz about who your customers are from a locality focus.Revealing

    Body Lanaguage and loads of protocols covering meet and greet,touching,signs,food,symbols from both a WESTERN and non WESTERN perspective

    Stepping Stones – in the customers shoes

    Benchmarking – looking at real case studies

    Economics and History

    Hope you can hang some hooks on these. You will certainly find it stimulating. Visit the websites of the three equality Commissions too.

    Good luck

    Jennifer

    [email protected]

  2. Recommend that the activities are driven by the learning outcome
    There was an excellent thread on perceptions and prejudice exercises last year:

    https://www.trainingzone.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=124521&d=680

    Other possibilities:

    A diversity ‘health check’; give them a list of questions to establish their current knowledge in relation to the learning outcomes. For example:

    Define culture, diversity, stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, racism, sexism, ageism etcetera.

    List the main UK legislation that deals with discrimination.

    What new anti-discrimination is being introduced in 2006?

    What does the European Convention on Human Rights say about discrimination?

    List the diverse individuals/communities that you deal with in the course of your work.

    List the effects on your business should any of your customers experience discrimination.

    Obviously substitute questions/statements according to the learning outcomes; don’t ask about legislation if they don’t need to know about legislation. The ‘health check’ can be repeated at the end to help to assess and consolidate learning.

    Another activity is instead of giving definitions of culture, diversity, stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, ableism etcetera, is to give them a list of the terms and a separate list of the statements which define each term and ask them to match each term with the statement. For example:

    Racism should be matched with “In the UK this generally means all the attitudes, systems and procedures, the effect of which regardless of intention, creates and maintains the power, influence and well-being of white people at the expense of black and other ethnic minority people.”

    Stereotyping should be matched with “Making judgments or statements about the qualities of individuals which are then generally attributed to everyone in the group or groups of which they are a member.”

    Other workshop activities might include the following:

    Identify an example of a personal non-work situation when you felt that you were being discriminated against.

    How did you feel? What were the consequences?

    What are your perceptions of the diverse individuals/communities that you deal with in the course of your work?

    What effect might these perceptions have on the way you communicate with these individuals/communities?

    Identify an example of how diversity is successfully acknowledged in your workplace (can be by you personally, a colleague or the organization).

    Identify an example of how diversity could be more successfully acknowledged in your workplace (can be by you personally, a colleague or the organization).

    You will also need to set some ground rules so that the participants feel comfortable/safe enough to take risks, as taking risks is required in order to learn.

  3. it is important to examine the negative impact of how you curren
    Already, public sector organisations have to produce race equality schemes, as part of which all sections have to undertake race equality impact assessments on all policies and activities. From /December 2006 this duty will extend to disability, and gender, and thereafter to other areas of diversity. Starting to think about a service delivery audit looking at how and where the way the delivery of your business might be having a negative impact on the ability of, say, disabled people to access its services – a legal requirement since 1995 and fully in force since october 2004 – might be more revaling than you might at first think. Many staff may never have thought of disabled people either as potential customers, or as potential or actual work colleagues – but they need to if your organisation is to avoid the risk of possibly very damaging and expensive litigation. Diversity is not just something nice, and does not evade the duty to deliver equality of opportunity both to employees and customers.

  4. Valuing diversity
    >>>>In the UK this generally means all the attitudes, systems and procedures, the effect of which regardless of intention, creates and maintains the power, influence and well-being of white people at the expense of black and other ethnic minority people>>>

    Are you sure about the wording of this? As someone living in a mulitcultural borough who often hears anti-white racism I’d prefer…”maintains the well-being of one race at the expense of another.”

    Racism is a two way process across the globe and is not defined along pro-white lines as many minorities in Africa will tell you.

    Can we please start valuing everyone whether majority or minority??

  5. Reply to Juliet LeFevre
    The definitions of racism and stereotyping were given to illustrate how words and statements could be used in a matching activity. They were intended to be illustrative, not definitive. They happen to be definitions used by a London NHS Trust during staff training. The actual words and statements used in a training activity would need to be chosen by the trainer in order to be appropriate for the training context.

    Racism has also been defined as a prejudice that is founded on the basis of race, in which other races to one’s own are seen as inferior. Stereotyping has also been defined as a cognitive process that leads to a generalisation concerning the characteristics of a group of people. I have my own views about which definitions I would use personally during diversity training but I have no view whatsoever regarding which definitions other trainers should adopt.

    The original definition I gave as an example can be quite easily changed to “creates and maintains the power, influence and well-being of white or black people at the expense of black, other ethnic minority or white people” if the person delivering the training believes that this is more appropriate in the circumstances.

    It is sad that my example of a training activity, which is what Neil Wilkins requested, has led to me being accused of failing to value everyone.

  6. Learning point not criticism
    >>>It is sad that my example of a training activity, which is what Neil Wilkins requested, has led to me being accused of failing to value everyone.>>>

    Nothing sad about it, thats an intangible emotion that you have ascribed to it. If the example is flawed then it is pragmatic and realistic to point it out, it is after all used to illustrate and place in high relief the issue and is an indication of something others can use. It is open to challenge, challenge should be viewed as positive and something we can all learn from especially where work is concerned.

  7. Just an extra comment
    I showed this thread to our existing consultant. He made the point to me that really our definitions of racism are not the issue.We can he thinks become too precious about this. He uses the real landmark definition from which everything stems-Macpherson-a racist incident is a racist incident IF the ….etc. It’s rather like the shift in gender and other cases on the burden of proof he says. In other worrds,no need for paralysis by analysis etc.

    The groundrules are turned by our trainer into the equality contract for the day WITH very tangible illustrated links to our actual policies and procedures.Brilliant.

    Jennifer

    [email protected]

  8. ideas and alternatives
    Hi Neil,

    I would be interested to know what you want to achieve in this module. If you would like to email me your aims and objectives I am sure I could give you some ideas of activities you could try.

    I have recently used some drama techniques with some dentistry students to improve their customer care with customers from a range of backgrounds: people with disabilities, phobias and from different cultural backgrounds. This worked really well.

    I would also be interested in discussing the merits of integrating diversity into your other modules rather than separating it out. It is unlikely your delegates will be presented with diversity as a sole issue. Rather the individuality of customers needs to be remembered at all junctures, whether staff are handling complaints or selling. Diversity, we believe, needs to be an integral part of everything else. This thinking leads to a need to assess how diversity-aware your trainers are and whether they themselves need a refresher course on these issues so they can integrate them into the training they dleiver. I would be happy to discuss any of these ideas with you.

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